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Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana to perform works by Buxtehude and Shaw

The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana in concert at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Champaign on June 5, 2022.

URBANA — The Baroque Artists of Champaign-Urbana, known as BACH for short, are in concert this Sunday at 7:30pm at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Urbana. 

The chamber choir is performing “Membra Jesu Nostri” by German composer Dietrich Buxtehude and “To the Hands” by modern American composer Caroline Shaw. 

Listen to this story here. 

BACH music director Sarah Riskind says Buxtehude was a contemporary of her ensemble’s namesake. 

“J.S. Bach famously visited Buxtehude and learned from him,” Riskind said. “Because he spent so much time in northern Germany, his style, when it does incorporate Italian elements, it’s based on Italian-style music permeating all over during that time, whereas a lot of composers that we know actually visited Italy and studied in Italy and learned from Italian teachers.” 

She says Shaw’s composition on the program, “To the Hands,” is a response to Buxtehude’s “Ad Manus,” the third of seven Buxtehude cantatas in “Membra Jesu Nostri.”

“The professional vocal ensemble, The Crossing, commissioned works by seven different composers around 2016,” Riskind said. “Each composer was to write a response to one of the seven cantatas.” 

BACH will perform “To the Hands” directly after “Ad Manus” during Sunday night’s concert. 

Riskind has been the group’s music director for a bit more than a year. Her full-time job is Director of Choral Activities at Eureka College. 

“My colleague’s name is Adriana Martinez, and she has been singing in the BACH choir since she started at Eureka,” Riskind said. “She told me about this job opportunity. I have always had a significant interest in early music.”

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Music in this interview was sampled from the performances below:

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Brian Moline

Brian Moline is the Managing Editor of Illinois Newsroom and host of Morning Edition for Illinois Public Media/WILL. He's been with WILL since 2015, after a long stint at WDWS-AM in Champaign where he covered both news and sports for more than a decade. If you have story or interview ideas, you can reach Brian at bmoline@illinois.edu.

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